Amazon Buys Whole Foods


1. PAGE LIMIT AND FORMATTING REQUIREMENTS – Your midterm assignment should
be a maximum of fourteen (14) typed pages including EVERYTHING (i.e. bibliography,
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student # and page #. This can be done under “Headers and
Footers.” (No title page is required.)
2. CONTENT – Read the articles and answer all questions. Number each question. Answer
four (4) questions separately in as much detail as possible. Extensive use and visible
reference to course theoretical content and case examples are expected and necessary
for a satisfactory grade. An introduction and conclusion, however, are not required in this
assignment. Just answer the questions, like a take-home exam.
WRITING STYLE – A formal writing style is expected. Spelling, grammar, punctuation,
sentence structure and writing style will be part of the evaluation of the assignment.
Point form is NOT acceptable.
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Case: Amazon Buys Whole Foods

Required articles readings:
1. Freschi, Framcesca. The Successful Story of America’s Healthiest Grocery Store: Whole
Foods Market. September 9, 2016. LinkedIn

2. Aaker, David. How Whole Foods Market Created the Ultimate Successful Subcategory.
May 5, 2014. LinkedIn.

3. Halzack, Sarah. Whole Foods has a big, basic problem it desperately needs to solve.
The Washington Post. April 12, 2017.

4. Halzack, Sarah. Amazon’s Price Cuts Won’t Solve Whole Foods’ Problems. August 28,
2017. Bloomberg.

5. Pisani, Joseph. Amazon officially takes over Whole Foods, cuts grocery prices. August
28, 2017. The Star/The Associated Press.

6. Rigby, Darrell K. The Amazon – Whole Foods Deal Means Every Other Retailer’s ThreeYear Plan is Obsolete. June 21, 2017. Harvard Business Review.


Question 1 (20 marks):
Based upon the articles provided, describe how the seven (7) external forces may have
impacted Whole Foods in the last several years. Discuss in detail the nature of each force
separately, with examples.
Question 2 (20 marks):
Explain and discuss which one management philosophy would likely be most suited to the old
company, Whole Foods (before acquisition by Amazon):
The Classical School of
Management or the Behavioural School of management. (Pick only one and support your
answer with examples from the articles).
Question 3 (20 marks):
Explain which organizational structure would likely work best for Amazon today. Consider the
characteristics of the following as part of your analysis:
a. Traditional bureaucracy versus modern organizations
(8 marks)
b. Work specialization: functional versus social (4 marks)
c. Mechanistic versus organic (8 marks)
Question 4 (20 marks)
Discuss what type of business-level strategy the old Whole Foods company (before
acquisition by Amazon) was
likely using? Why does this business-level strategy make sense
given the nature of its industry?

4 | P a g e
Midterm Assignment Tips#1 – Guide For Analysis
Guide for analysis:

Begin with the question Answer the specific question being asked. Nothing more.
Introduction Do not include. None (No marks awarded)
Did you identify the theory correctly, pertaining to the question that is being asked?
definition and explanation
Did you define/explain the theory enough to demonstrate your understanding of
what it means? Some theory will require more explanation than others simply due
to its complexity.
Case examples Are you able to identify any examples from the case/articles? The more the better.
Why? Like a lawyer in a trial, the more evidence you provide to support your
position, the stronger your case. And the better the mark. Detail, detail, detail is
what helps you get from an A- to and A++.
If there are few to no case examples, can you explain why you think the theory
applies to this company and why? Is there anything about the company or the
industry that you can infer from the case? Meaning: what assumptions or best
guesses sound reasonable that makes it more likely for this theory to be relevant and
apply? Why is another theory not relevant here?
Explain why the case examples are
relevant to the theory.
Are you able to tie back the case example to the theory? Does it make sense?
Explain why.
Conclusion None (No marks awarded)

Guide for organization:
Use subheadings, sentences and paragraphs accordingly to organize your answer.
Guide to editing:
If your paper is too long and you need to edit, try to remove any repeated ideas. However, make sure
you keep in important
key words that are relevant to the theory and case. Try to be concise where

Last Updated on March 15, 2018

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